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Sebastopol speed limit

EDITOR: Thank you for covering Tuesday’s meeting regarding traffic and pedestrian safety in Sebastopol (“Pedestrians in peril,” Wednesday).

In response to the statement by Sebastopol police Capt. James Conner (soon to be the police chief) that speed limits are set “based on the belief that generally people drive no faster than is prudent for safety,” diving habits in California have changed over the years. Witness the typical speed of traffic on Highway 101. Speeds of 75 mph and 80 mph aren’t uncommon. Twenty years ago, this would have been considered dangerously fast and definitely unsafe.

California Vehicle Code Section 22350 states, “No person shall drive a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property.”

The safety of Sebastopol’s citizens is of primary importance. We live in a democracy. If the majority of the community wishes the speed limit on Bodega Highway to be less than the posted 40 mph, then the speed limit should be reduced.

An informed public is critical for participation in society. Please continue your coverage of this important community issue.

DANIEL DE KAY

Sebastopol

All carrot, no stick

EDITOR: Sonoma County’s Board of Supervisors voted to again extend the deadline for illegal marijuana farmers to get a permit or cease operations (“New deadline for marijuana grower permits,” Wednesday). This “relief” for those who are breaking the law comes at the expense of law-abiding citizens who live next door or, in the case of my neighborhood, the embattled Mark West Creek.

The supervisors have taken this step because cannabis industry representatives pressured the Cannabis Advisory Group to recommend it be implemented. The Cannabis Advisory Group didn’t exist two months ago and had its first meeting only last month. I wonder how many Sonoma County residents know that this group, which apparently has the power to direct the voting of the Board of Supervisors, even exists.

The supervisors assured us all they would use a carrot-and-stick approach to bring the growers out of the shadows, yet a meager 2 percent have registered for a permit. Where I live, marijuana cultivation is exploding exponentially. Zero illegal marijuana plants have been confiscated, and no one has been arrested.

Obviously the carrot isn’t working. It’s time to see the stick. When growers see others being busted, they will be more motivated to “get legal.”

LAURA WALDBAUM

Santa Rosa

Care for the planet

EDITOR: In 1935, the technology was a tad different (“Hurricane history,” Letters, Monday). We didn’t have today’s ability to predict catastrophic hurricanes, much less broadcast them.

I spoke with my mother the day before Irma’s notable arrival, and it was sunny and 95 degrees just north of Tampa, Florida. Were it not for science and technology, millions wouldn’t have evacuated, and the death toll would likely be higher than 423 given today’s population density.

What we also don’t know, due to the lack of published scientific data, is if the 1935 hurricane was as wide as Irma — 450 miles wide, nearly three times wider than Florida’s peninsula.

Please, people, don’t abandon science. Rather, adopt the Boy Scouts’ approach: leave the place better than you found it.

Let’s take care of our planet. And leave it for future generations, better than we found it.

ANDREA CAMERON

Santa Rosa

Sitting out elections

EDITOR: Maybe you caught ex-Donald Trump adviser Stephen Bannon’s “60 Minutes” interview on Sunday. Let me quote a few highlights.

Bannon, now that he is off the leash, admitted on camera that he wants Trump’s “populist economic nationalist agenda implemented” and intends to go to war with “anyone who doesn’t support the president’s agenda” — words not spoken by people of power since the 1930s. If that doesn’t make you squirm, stop reading right now.

To the rest of America, I say this. It took us 37 years to get to this point in our country. There are innumerable reasons for this, but the main one is we don’t vote.

Who is “we”? Progressives. We make up reasons to dislike a candidate and to stay away from the polls. It got us to the point where we are. The press, those bastions of First Amendment, are now seen as “fake,” and a man with zero dignity for, and knowledge of, the office he holds, is president.

Maybe we have learned something. Let’s be clear. One side accepts this man. The other is against him. Does that help your choice in November? I hope so. Vote.

BOB MARKETOS

Petaluma

Winners and losers

EDITOR: Susan C. Lamont wrote an excellent letter in Sunday’s paper (“Men and violence”). Both domestic violence and police violence are rooted deeply in the social attitudes of America. But I think she should have talked more about two things.

First, the implications are that although individuals need to be held accountable at some point, the real solution for the problems can only be found in changing those strongly held societal attitudes.

Second, we in America do in fact have a destructive obsession with competition. So much so that we celebrate those who engage in the destructive practice of hoarding resources in order to bully others. And we deny people access to the necessities of life not because they are unwilling or unable to engage in useful labor but because the business class is unable to profit from it. Then we call them “losers.” I call this economic violence.

Our government can and should find a way to include everyone in the economy. We want everyone to have the opportunity to contribute and to receive a living wage. Our institutions should serve all of us, not just “winners.”

EDWARD MEISSE

Santa Rosa

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